World News

Kazakhstan courts continue to undermine religious freedom

Last year, Kazakhstan courts filed 127 administrative prosecutions against people and organizations acting out their religious freedom. Most of the prosecutions targeted individuals, with one individual being charged twice.


Along with the 111 individual prosecutions, two schools, two charities, and one company were punished for various expressions of their faith. Congregating, offering religious books and items, preaching, sharing faith, posting religious material online, or simply praying made these people and organisations targets for the increasingly strict Kazakhstan government.

The number of prosecutions has marginally decreased in recent years, with 134 in 2020 only down to 127 in 2021. Eurasia Review speculates that the slight reduction is a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic limiting people’s movement and meeting, and not a sign of Kazakhstan becoming more tolerant of religious expression.

The head of the Department of Law Enforcement Practice in the Field of Religious Activities is insistent that those who break the law will be prosecuted. He offered no comment on why the courts are targeting individuals expressing their religious beliefs.


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